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Swede paid friend to serve his prison sentence

Swede paid friend to serve his prison sentence

Published: 27 Sep 2012 07:18 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Sep 2012 07:18 GMT+02:00

A 37-year-old Gothenburg man managed to avoid jail time by paying a friend to serve his prison sentence while disappearing off abroad.

“This kind of scam would be impossible for us to expose,” said Elisabeth Lager, legal expert as the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) to news agency TT.

The 37-year-old was convicted in January 2008 to one year in prison, after being found guilty of charges ranging from copyright infringement to breaking Swedish medical laws and handling smuggled goods.

However, as he was not held in remand at the time of his conviction, he had plenty of time to make arrangements before having to start his sentence, according to newspaper Expressen.

After acquiring a driver’s licence in his name but with his friend’s photo, he convinced the other man to do his jail time, had a new passport made at the consulate in Amsterdam, and fled Europe for Asia.

Police now believe he is living in the Philippines and have issued an international warrant for his arrest.

The scam wasn’t exposed until a police officer, at the prison to interrogate the 37-year-old, realized that the wrong person was facing him across the table.

“We were the victims of advanced con,” said Ulf Jonson of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service to Expressen.

He added that the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen), in charge of issuing Swedish drivers’ licences, had also been hoodwinked.

By the time the stand-in prisoner was discovered, he had already served a significant amount of the convicted man's prison sentence.

If he had stayed in jail for the entire sentence without the scam having been noticed, the convicted man could have walked free.

“We would have considered the time to have been served,” said Eilsabeth Lager to TT.

There has been an international arrest warrant issued for the 37-year-old ever since it was discovered in May that the wrong man had been jailed.

The hired man has been let out of jail since the discovery.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:39 September 27, 2012 by Abe L
I don't think such minor charges are a reason for an international arrest warrant. Those warrants are quickly starting to lose their value when you start using them for such matters. Do we really want this to turn around against Sweden and see the Swedish police spend their time manhunting people that stole a pack of chewing gum in New Zealand?

International arrest warrants should be reserved for heavy crime such as murder, bank robberies or genocide.
11:39 September 27, 2012 by Keith #5083
There seems little point to the justice system, courts,prisons, (regardless of the crime) if the convicted fellon is not actually the one imprisoned.

Clearly there needs to be some upgrading of the systems to ensure this could not happen again.
15:31 September 27, 2012 by krrodman
I get the scam. Fake driver's license etc etc. I must say, I respect his ingenuity. Our criminal has real leadership skills. Should join Parliament. Maybe run for PM some day.

In any case, shouldn't the police be using more reliable forms of ID such as finger prints to identify criminals?
04:54 September 28, 2012 by Da Goat
Interesting as if they do catch the real guy he will only need to serve the remainder as well his friend has already served the sentence!

I am sure this is perfectly legal thing to do, as I think that maybe a rich person of old was able to pay a proxy to serve the sentence as long as there was payment or a slave could serve in return for his/her freedom on release!

Jesus did this for us all! (and we do not have to pay!)
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